The American Farm Bureau Federation reported that the average 10-person Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, cranberry sauce, as well as a vegetable tray as an appetizer and pumpkin pie and coffee for dessert, cost $48.90.
Since I live in the New York area, where food prices are higher than the national average, I decided to see whether I could do a made-from-scratch Thanksgiving dinner for just eight people for the same money. To keep things relatively consistent to the Farm Bureau, I opted for a menu of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and crescent rolls, as well as apple pie and coffee for dessert.
The final shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner came to 22 items and, for the purposes of my test, I assumed that I would already have on hand pantry staples like flour, oil, salt and pepper. I took that list to five popular grocery chains: Acme, Aldi, Trader Joe's, Walmart and Whole Foods.
Here's how I fared buying my ingredients while trying to keep to my budget at these stores. I've ranked them in order from the most to the least expensive shopping experience.